N E W S F E E D S >>>
Wings Over Wick Index

Wings Over Wick
1939 - 1945
Torpedo Squadrons

Bill Newby, Sherburn Village, Durham
As a 19 year old airman I served at Wick on two occasions. The first time was in January 1942 and as there was a torpedo hanger on the drome I found myself in that section.

At this time there were two squadrons of Lockheed Hudson aircraft based at Wick, numbers 608 and 48. Their job was to drop mines in the fjords of Norway and also bomb the mainland and depth charge any enemy shipping.

I left Wick in May 1942 to go on a torpedo course for eight weeks after which, I along with others, was reposted back to Wick but I also spent some time on the satellite drome at Skitten where 489 Hampden squadron was based. These planes were torpedo bombers; there was not enough room at Wick for them.

RAF Wick was built and opened in 1939 and closed as an RAF base in 1946. It was a coastal command aerodrome. There were also quite a number of married airmenís quarters built, these houses were made of timber with slate roofs but all families were moved out when war started, only airmen and WAAFs were billeted in them. The North School was taken over and used as an operations centre until an underground one was built behind the guardroom, this centre has now been filled in.

One incident I remember well, occurred in July 1942, three Hudsons with bombs took off early evening when a heavy sea fog blotted out the airfield, it was impossible to see the red lights on top of the three tall radio masts.

The aircraft were recalled and we could hear them circling low over the drome. The first two managed to get down although one of them shot off the end of the runway. Unfortunately the last one could not get the landing wheels down so had to do a belly landing. The crew got out before the bombs went off and next morning nothing much remained of the planes, plus there was a very large hole in the runway.